Estonia continues to support Georgia's aspirations to join the EU and NATO. So said Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves recently. Its accession to these organizations is up to the Georgians' ability to meet their criteria, and no external powers should influence these process, he said.
I do wonder about where Georgia fits into the post-2008 "global order." That is, until the heady year of '08, we were experiencing a dynamic of continued EU and NATO expansion, which logically could extend as far east as the leaders of these organizations saw fit. But economic crises, political crises, and, well, multiple crises have diminished that eagerness.
I also wonder about the psychology behind Estonian diplomacy, which appears to be based on pure principle, but could also be seen as the outcome of interlocking myths about Estonia's role in the world, such as "the little country that showed it could be done isn't about to keep anybody else down" ...
Some interesting discussions with Georgian students yielded the information that Georgia sees EU integration in terms of attaining a higher status, and that it is not thought of in civilizational terms of hooking up with ancient Black Sea trading partners like Romania or Bulgaria (whereas the Estonians reconstructed themselves as a forgotten outpost of Scandinavia, which, quite naturally, was deserving of membership), and when they think about NATO, they think about the US and some stalwart allies, not their neighboring NATO-member country Turkey.
It's all just a bit too abstract for my unseasoned mind to grasp. Too many slippery concepts about status and democracy and corruption and whatever else you can throw at the wall. Expect the Georgians to live up to standards of organizations that are not met by constituent members? Be like us, but not like Berslusconi? And how are their oligarchs different from our oligarchs really? Do any of these big words still harbor any meaning?
Where's that Hemingway quote? Ah. There it is:
"There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers
were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates."